Horticulture as Therapy: A Piedmont Patch Event, Saturday, May 19

HORTICULTURE AS THERAPY
Featuring Amy Brightwood
Saturday, May 19, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
At The Episcopal Church of the Advocate, 8410 Merin Road, Chapel Hill

The Piedmont Patch Collaborative announces “Horticulture as Therapy,” on Saturday, May 19 from 10:00 am to 12:00 p.m. at The Episcopal Church of the Advocate located at 8410 Merin Road in Chapel Hill. The program, featuring Amy Brightwood, will provide an overview of the demonstrated benefits of gardening to promote individual mental, emotional, physical, spiritual, and intellectual well-being. The long-standing Horticultural Therapy program at the North Carolina Botanical Garden in Chapel Hill has worked with groups of all ages, including patients suffering from brain damage, teenagers with eating disorders, and seniors suffering from senile dementia.

Amy Brightwood is completing the final stages of her training as a Horticultural Therapist with an internship at the North Carolina Botanical Garden. She will offer an introduction to the many benefits of Horticultural Therapy in general, and describe the teacher training program that she developed at Glenwood Elementary School in Chapel Hill. After her presentation, there will be a demonstration of potting native wildflowers and culinary herbs that will beautify sunny decks and patios while also serving as food sources for pollinators. The first 30 people to register for the talk via e-mail will receive a free native wildflower to use in the creation of their own container gardens.

“Bacteria in the soil emit substances that generate the brain chemicals that lift depression. Basically, there’s a biochemical reason gardening makes us happy,” said Catherine Bollinger, Volunteer Botanical Consultant for Piedmont Patch. “This program will help participants value gardening as a wellness activity.”

The Piedmont Patch is a collaboration of the Episcopal Church of the Advocate in Chapel Hill and various groups that promote the value and importance of native species, including the North Carolina Botanical Garden and the New Hope chapter of the Audubon Society. It promotes the restoration of native landscapes on private and public properties, one patch of Piedmont at a time. This event is one of a series of free quarterly educational events; there are also hands-on experiences like the recent Planting Day on April 14, that are planned to engage interested persons at any level of experience. For updates, follow the Piedmont Patch Collaborative on Facebook.